Ethics of Online Research Using Publicly Posted Opinions

Quinton Miller, Public Relations Major, MDST 485, January 29th, 2021

Ethics are the moral principles that dictate a persons possible courses of action in given situations. This academic journal goes into depth on the belief that social media is or isn’t effective for collecting health research data. Relevancy to us is is captured by the means to how that data is collected in relation to a change that has happened in technology since this was written. The article explains that some individuals wonder if the data collected affects the people who posted it. Paraphrasing peoples words instead of copying still provides the same amount of insight. Gonzalez-Hernandez argues that the anonymity of sites such as Reddit allows for full reproduction of statements even when the wording is not changed. This could pose as an alternative source to peoples social network postings like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the identities are further concealed in anonymous posts. As an additional personal input, I would argue that publicly made posts are already made to be seen as well as share opinions that can be used as research information on the web. Therefore, finding a conglomerate of unnamed opinions for researching purposes isn’t a terrible idea. Especially when social media sites, companies and developers actively listen for key phrases as is.

What I had absorbed is that the way things are done determine their clearance. This could help marketers in the way they present the data collected for commercial and legal purposes. This passage suggests that asking for opinions via surveys makes the research more clinical which requires consent. If the information is expressed publicly it illuminates the issue of meeting a full review by the National Institute of Health. For example, this entity, The National Institute of Health, wouldn’t allow research information related to medical marijuana to surface for credibility if it goes through them because the study of the drug is illegal in designated states, thus negatively pressuring it’s expansion and help to the nation. If anonymous opinions are recorded this study would be allowed to be utilized.

This is only one way to gather information as technology is ever changing and evolving. Bio-technology is predicted to become a more widely used assessment of specific individuals health structure in the near future. Biotech has been used by ancestry.com, myheritage.com and others to determine the ethnic make up of its paying users. I, myself, am awaiting my assessment. This technology will now be used more widely as it becomes more affordable and accurate than doctor diagnosis. Physicians, as qualified as they may be, sometimes inaccurately diagnose patients. This leads to more cost and less effectiveness. This redundancy can be avoided by using a biotech analysis of inherited health concerns and personalize a template for all age ranges of users.

Overall, what’s expressed in the reading is that the way things are done, determines its clearance. This could help marketers in the way they present the data they’ve collected for promotional and legal purposes. An example being, the passage suggesting that asking for opinions via surveys makes the research more clinical which requires consent. If information is expressed publicly, it leads the issue of needing a full review by the NIH.

Gonzalez-Hernandez, G. (2019) On The Ethics of Using Social Media for Health Research https://nlmdirector-nlm-nih-gov.mtrproxy.mnpals.net/2019/06/25/on-the-ethics-of-using-social-media-data-for-health-research/comment-page-1/

Biotechnology Innovation Organization https://archive.bio.org/articles/diagnostics

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